John Randolph Tucker
|Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus|
March 4, 1885 –March 3, 1887
|Speaker||John G. Carlisle|
|Preceded by||George W. Geddes|
|Succeeded by||Samuel S. Cox|
|Member of the |
U.S. House of Representatives
March 4, 1875 –March 3, 1887
|Preceded by|| Thomas Whitehead (1875)|
District reestablished (1885)
|Succeeded by|| John W. Daniel (1885)|
Jacob Yost (1887)
|Constituency|| 6th district (1875–1885)|
10th district (1885–1887)
|Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary|
March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1887
|Preceded by||Thomas Brackett Reed|
|Succeeded by||David B. Culberson|
|Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means|
|Preceded by||Fernando Wood|
|Succeeded by||William D. Kelley|
|8th Attorney General of Virginia|
June 13, 1857 – May 9, 1865
Contested with James S. Wheat:
June 21, 1861 – December 7, 1863
Contested with Thomas Russell Bowden:
December 7, 1863 – May 6, 1865
|Governor|| Henry A. Wise |
|Preceded by||Willis P. Bocock|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Russell Bowden|
|Born||December 24, 1823|
Winchester, Virginia, U.S.
|Died||February 13, 1897 73) (aged|
Lexington, Virginia, U.S.
|Resting place||Winchester, Virginia, U.S.|
|Spouse(s)||Laura Holmes Powell Tucker|
|Children||Henry St. George Tucker|
John Randolph Tucker (December 24, 1823 – February 13, 1897) was an American lawyer, author, and politician from Virginia. From a distinguished family, he was elected Virginia's attorney general in 1857 and after re-election served during the American Civil War (James S. Wheat served as attorney general in Union-held portions of the state). After a pardon and Congressional Reconstruction, Tucker was elected as U.S. Congressman (1875-1887), and later served as the first dean of the Washington and Lee University Law School.
Tucker was born in Winchester, Virginia on Christmas Eve in 1823, the son of Anna Evalina Hunter Tucker (1789-1855) and her husband Judge Henry St. George Tucker (1780-1848). A grandson of St. George Tucker, J.R. Tucker would become proud of his heritage among the First Families of Virginia. His father and many relatives owned plantations and enslaved persons. Nonetheless, several of his siblings never reached adulthood. His brothers Dr. Alfred Bland Tucker (1830-1862) and Lt.Col. St. George Hunter Tucker (1828-1863) would die of consumption while in the Confederate States Army; his brother Dr. David Hunter Tucker (1815-1871) became a professor at three medical schools including the Medical College of Virginia and survived his Confederate service. His brother Nathaniel Beverley Tucker (1820-1890) would become a Confederate diplomat and later a journalist.
John Randolph Tucker attended a private school near his Winchester home, then entered the Richmond Academy. He finished his studies at the University of Virginia, graduating with a legal degree in 1844.
He married Laura Powell in 1848. They had one son who survived to adulthood, Henry St. George Tucker, III (who later became a U.S. Congressman). Their daughters who married well and survived their parents included: Anne Holmes Tucker McGuire (1850 - 1914), Gertrude Tucker Logan (1856 - 1925), and Laura Randolph Tucker Pendleton (1860 - 1946).
John Randolph Tucker was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1845, and began a private legal practice in Winchester. In 1854 he delivered a major speech to the literary societies at College of William and Mary which argued that slavery was consistent with republicanism. He also became active in politics and was a presidential elector on the Democratic ticket in 1852 and 1856.
Voters elected Tucker Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1857, and he served during the American Civil War, until the Commonwealth surrendered to Union forces in 1865. His siblings also actively supported the Confederate cause, two as Confederate doctors, Nathaniel Beverley Tucker as a Confederate diplomat, and his lawyer brother St. George Hunter Tucker recruited the Ashland Grays (part of the 15th Virginia Infantry) and served at Lt. Col., winning plaudits for his conduct at the Battle of Malvern Hill before resigning his commission and dying of consumption in Charlottesville in 1863.
J. Randolph Tucker received a pardon and resumed his private legal practice.
Elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1875, he served until 1887. He was chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means in the 46th Congress and chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary in the 48th and 49th Congresses.
He took an active part in the debates on the tariff, in opposition to the protective policy. His speeches on other questions include those on the Electoral Commission bill, the constitutional doctrine as to the presidential count, the Hawaiian treaty in 1876, the use of the army at the polls, in 1879, and Chinese emigration, in 1883. He introduced legislation broadening the power of the federal Court of Claims to hear Constitutional claims in 1886, which became known as the Tucker Act. He declined to be renominated to the House in 1886. He was co-sponsor of the 1887 Edmunds–Tucker Act.
Tucker was an exemplar of the racist views of his day. Speaking on the House floor, he asserted that “We did not ordain and establish this Constitution for the Chinaman and for all the other races of the earth. . . . I hold that this Constitution was ordained and established by our fathers for their posterity of the Caucasian people of America.”Not surprisingly, he was also not supportive of the post-Civil War push to grant rights to African Americans, declaring that “. . . there is not a philosophical statesman in this land who to-day does not say either that the citizenship and the voting power of the African race in the South is a failure--either that or that it is an unsolved problem of our future. We have that one disease in the body-politic, which God grant we may recover from.”
Tucker made an unsuccessful but legally influential argument on behalf of August Spies and the other Haymarket Riot defendants during their appeal to the Supreme Court. Elected professor of Constitutional law at Washington and Lee University in 1888, Tucker was Dean of the School of Law from 1893 to 1897. Tucker served as president of The Virginia Bar Association in 1891-1892, and president of the American Bar Association in 1894.
John Randolph Tucker died in 1897 in Lexington, Virginia and is buried in the family plot at Mt. Hebron cemetery in Winchester. His widow would join him in 1916. One of his sons, Henry St. George Tucker, III, would follow in his footsteps by becoming Dean of the Washington and Lee Law School, and later a U.S. Congressman representing Winchester (1922-1932). J.R.Tucker's two volume treatise, The Constitution of the United States, appeared posthumously in 1899. His Lexington home, Blandome was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
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John Randolph Tucker
George Wythe Randolph was a Virginia lawyer, planter, politician and Confederate general. After representing the City of Richmond during the Virginia Secession Convention in 1861, during eight months in 1862 he was the Confederate States Secretary of War during the American Civil War, then served in the Virginia Senate representing the City of Richmond until the war's end.
Alexander Hugh Holmes Stuart was a prominent Virginia lawyer and American political figure associated with several political parties. Stuart served in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly, as a U.S. Congressman (1841-1843), and as the Secretary of the Interior. Despite opposing Virginia's secession and holding no office after finishing his term in the Virginia Senate during the American Civil War, after the war he was denied a seat in Congress. Stuart led the Committee of Nine, which attempted to reverse the changes brought by Reconstruction. He also served as rector of the University of Virginia.
Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter was a Virginia lawyer, politician and plantation owner. He was a U.S. Representative, Speaker of the House (1839–1841), and U.S. Senator (1847–1861). During the American Civil War, Hunter became the Confederate States Secretary of State (1861–1862) and then a Confederate Senator (1862–1865) and critic of President Jefferson Davis. After the war, Hunter failed to win re-election to the U.S. Senate, but did serve as the Treasurer of Virginia (1874–1880) before retiring to his farm. After fellow Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected President of the United States in 1884, Hunter became the customs collector for the port of Tappahannock until his death.
John Warwick Daniel was an American lawyer, author, and Democratic politician from Lynchburg, Virginia who promoted the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. Daniel served in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly and both houses of the United States Congress. He represented Virginia the U.S. House from 1885 to 1887, and in the U.S. Senate from 1887 to 1910.
Nathaniel Beverley Tucker was an American journalist, printer, and diplomat. During the American Civil War he was a Confederate States (Southern) economic agent in France, England, and Canada, and also a secret representative in the North.
The Virginia Conventions have been the assemblies of delegates elected for the purpose of establishing constitutions of fundamental law for the Commonwealth of Virginia superior to General Assembly legislation. Their constitutions and subsequent amendments span four centuries across the territory of modern-day Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Henry St. George Tucker Sr. was a Virginia jurist, law professor, and U.S. Congressman (1815–1819).
Richard Lee Turberville Beale was a lawyer, three-term United States Congressman from the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.
Richard Cassius Lee Moncure was a Virginia politician and jurist, serving for more than 25 years on what became the Virginia Supreme Court.
Henry St. George Tucker III was a representative from the Commonwealth of Virginia to the United States House of Representatives, professor of law, and president of the American Bar Association.
George Douglas Wise was a U.S. Representative from Virginia, cousin of John Sergeant Wise and Richard Alsop Wise and nephew of Henry Alexander Wise.
Thomas Walter Harrison was a Virginia lawyer, judge and politician. He served in the Senate of Virginia and in the United States House of Representatives.
John White Brockenbrough was a Virginia attorney, Professor of law and a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
William Alexander Anderson was a Virginia lawyer, Confederate soldier and Democratic politician, who served in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly, twice won election as Attorney General of Virginia, and also served as rector of his alma mater, Washington & Lee University.
St. George Tucker, born in Bermuda, was a lawyer and, after the American Revolution, a professor of law at the College of William & Mary. He notably increased the requirements for a law degree at the college, as he believed lawyers needed deep educations. He served as a judge of the General Court of Virginia and later on the Court of Appeals.
Beverley Dandridge Tucker was the second bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. Four of his sons also distinguished themselves within the Episcopal Church.
Winchester Law School was a privately run institution for legal education. Operated by Henry St. George Tucker, Sr., it was open from 1824 to 1831.
John Randolph Tucker Jr. was an American attorney and politician who served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1950 to 1958, and later as a judge of the Circuit Court in Richmond.
John Randolph Tucker was an American judge and Democratic politician who served as a member of the Virginia Senate.
Robert Waterman Hunter was a Virginia newspaper editor and Confederate officer who twice served single terms in the Virginia House of Delegates and became the first Secretary of Virginia Military Records, as well as served as federal Inspector of Public Lands during the first Cleveland administration.
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